Monday, October 14, 2019

Review: Girl, Woman, Other

Girl, Woman, Other Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I snuck one more book in from the Booker Prize shortlist before it is awarded tonight. This book doesn't come out in the United States until December 3, but I was able to get a copy from the publisher through Edelweiss.

Girl, Woman, Other follows a string of women in the UK, and all are women of color with a fair amount of varying sexual orientation. Each section has its own voice and style while the characters interact with each other throughout (so the reader gets different versions/perspectives of some of the characters.) I thought it was very joyful to read and it has become a favorite from the shortlist, when my assumption before starting was that it would be too UK oriented to be relevant. (So give it a try!)

TW for sexual violence, transphobia, various forms of racism, and suicidal ideation.

View all my reviews

Review: The Blue Sky

The Blue Sky The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fictionalized account of the author's childhood in the transitional period where the Tuvan people started being regulated by Mongolian governments (taxing for wool and forcing children to go to school.) It was interesting to read about the nomadic patterns, community units, sensory communication (using smell in particular!) and living in extreme conditions. There are hints of the author's future as a shaman by the end of the book, and apparently this is the first book of a longer series.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Reading Envy 167: Book Pendulum with Reggie

Reggie is a reading friend Jenny made in Litsy. Together we discuss coming back to reading, international postal book groups, plant blindness, and Reggie tries to talk Jenny into giving a book a second try.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 167: Book Pendulum with Reggie

Subscribe to the podcast via this link: Feedburner
Or subscribe via Apple Podcasts by clicking: Subscribe
Or listen through TuneIn
Or listen on Google Play
Listen via Stitcher
Listen through Spotify

Books discussed:

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hyomi Kawakami, translated by Allison Markin Powell
The Girl who Reads on the Métro by Christine Féret-Fleury
The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor
The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Other mentions:

Clive Barker
Anna Castillo
Julia Alvarez
For Real (Book Riot podcast)
Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
The Fireman by Joe Hill
The Stand by Stephen King
Swan Song by Robert McCammon
A Boy's Life by Robert McCammon
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Haruki Murakami
Natsumi Sashimi
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori
The Overstory by Richard Powers
The Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (tv show)
Stray City by Chelsea Johnson
Chasing Amy (film)
Black Wave by Michelle Tea
The Troop by Nick Cutter
The Deep by Nick Cutter
Nobody Cries at Bingo by Dawn Dumont
Frankly in Love by David Yoon
Erosion: Essays of Undoing by Terry Tempest Williams

Related Episodes:

Episode 079 - Deliberately Silenced and Preferably Unheard with Rima Abunasser
Episode 080 - The Wild Things Helped with Jason Roland
Episode 086 - The Queen of Bailing with Shawn Mooney
Episode 101 - A Different Kind of Time Travel with Karen Acosta
Episode 105 - Best Reads of 2017 
Episode 112 - Reset Button with Eleanor Thoele
Episode 130 - All the Jennifers with Fern Ronay
Episode 161 - Women in Translation Month Recommendations with Lauren

Stalk us online:

Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter
Jenny is @readingenvy on Instagram and Litsy
Reggie is @reggie on Litsy

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Review: The Circle of Karma

The Circle of Karma The Circle of Karma by Kunzang Choden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was off of my Asia 2019 project for too long, but this was a nice book to pick it back up with. The novel tells the story of Tsomo, a Bhutanese woman, from childhood to elderly years. It tackles all the life events - siblings, growing up, rituals, death, marriage, employment, journeys, religious practice, etc. Tsomo finds herself on a journey for blessings from several lamas once she decides her marriage has brought her into a place of bad karma and that is the majority of the book. And just like I like in a book I'm reading to learn about another place, there is a lot about food and ritual and societal structures/differences between the Bhutanese themselves but also between the Bhutanese and the surrounding groups. As far as I can tell, this is written in English, not translated from another language. Even so there are too many commas at times, and not enough other times, and a few other grammatical errors in this printing. I suspect that is the price you pay when you try to read a book from every country.

View all my reviews

Review: Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America

Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America Motherhood So White: A Memoir of Race, Gender, and Parenting in America by Nefertiti Austin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This memoir of adoption and motherhood by Neferiti Austin also provides a much needed voice of black women adopting black children. She covers the process, dealing with birth families, dealing with new forms of mansplaining, and funny moments like teaching her son to pee standing up.

I think the idea that unifies her experience with other experiences I've heard from adoptive parents is the importance of the community that emerges, which isn't always the people you had in your life before adopting.

I had a copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley and it came out September 24, 2019.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Books Read September 2019: 206-229

This month I really zeroed in on getting through some of my eARC backlog from Edelweiss and NetGalley, and it really worked with 16 of the books I read coming from that list (and a few more that I started or didn't review publicly.)

It was also a good month for five star reads, with seven! And even stranger, four of them were non-fiction and one was poetry.

206. The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (library book; my review)
207. Cantoras by Caroline de Robertis ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
208. The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
209. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
210. Clear My Name by Paula Daly ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
211. Permission to Feel by Mark Brackett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (print ARC; my review)
212. Minutes from the Miracle City by Omar Sabbagh ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
213. Eyes Bottle Dark with a Mouthful of Flowers by Jake Skeets ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
214. Safe Houses I Have Known by Steve Healey⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
215. The Girl Who Reads on the Metro by Christine Féret-Fleury ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
216. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (purchased audiobook; my review)
217. Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (library copy; my review)
218. Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (library copy; my review)
219. Make it Scream, Make it Burn by Leslie Jamison ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
220. Come to Me: Stories by Amy Bloom ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (library copy; my review)
221. The Line Becomes a River by Francisco Cantu ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (interlibrary loan; my review)
222. High School by Tegan and Sara ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
223. Devotion by Madeline Stevens ⭐️⭐️½ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
224. Who Put This Song On? by Morgan Parker ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
225. Modern Love ed. Daniel Jones ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
226. The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls by Mona Eltahawy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from Edelweiss; my review)
227. Erosion by Terry Tempest Williams ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)
228. The Restaurant of Love Imagined by Ito Ogawa ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (interlibrary loan; my review)
229. Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (eARC from NetGalley; my review)

Books Read: 24

Audiobooks: 1
eBooks: 16
Print: 7

Library copy: 6
Personal copy: 1
Review copy: 17

Asia 2019 goal: 1
#scienceseptember: 4
TBR Explode project: 1

Review: Erosion: Essays of Undoing

Erosion: Essays of Undoing Erosion: Essays of Undoing by Terry Tempest Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"We are eroding and evolving, all at once."

Terry Tempest Williams tackles the theme of erosion and undoing throughout these essays - examining topics of public lands, family, career, belief. There is an underlying tension between connectedness and grief that I've experienced in her writing before.

I'm posting this a few days after finishing and I just keep thinking about her losing her job at the University of Utah after she and her husband tried protecting some land by forming a trust and bidding on the lease. She herself is an institution, living in Utah, teaching writing, and her own undoing included moving across the country at last part of the year just to make a living.

TW for Trump-led destruction of protected lands, harm to Diné communities, and suicide.

I had a copy from FSG Books through Netgalley and this book comes out October 8, 2019.

View all my reviews